Annualmeeting:2017 CSDMS meeting-105
Using individual-based models and animal movement to evaluate habitat-use intensity in fragmented landscapes: a case study using an ecosystem engineer in central Brazil
Results indicate that in a fully-connected landscape (one-patch simulations), as percent FC decreases, the frequency distribution of habitat use goes from narrow and left-skewed (low use in the majority of the habitat) to widely and evenly distributed (no use to high use in distinct parts of the habitat), reflecting a more heterogeneous use of the habitat with less FC. In a fragmented landscape (two-four patch simulations) below 30% FC, habitat use is driven by the degree of connectivity between forest patches. However, above 60% FC, the percent of unused forest is negligible (similar to one-patch simulations), indicating that patch spatial configuration is no longer the driving factor of habitat use past a 60% FC threshold. Between 40% and 60% FC, habitat use is a function of both connectivity and percent FC. Preliminary empirical results suggest riparian forests have the greatest difference in mean seedling density between areas with or without WLP, while palm swamps have the least. Collectively, these results suggest conservation measures in agricultural landscapes should emphasize percent FC, connectivity, or both, depending on the amount of forest remaining and that riparian zones may be most adversely affected by the loss of large ungulates.